Stones on submerging Hasankeyf bridge moved to museum
BATMAN – DHA
Stones featuring figures of Roman soldiers on the legs of a 2,500-year-old bridge in the 12,000-year-old ancient settlement of Hasankeyf in the southeastern province of Batman have been moved to a museum, as the historic bridge is set to disappear underwater in the wake of the controversial construction of the Ilısu Dam.
The restoration of the bridge spanning the Tigris River, which cuts through Hasankeyf, has recently been finished and the figures on the bridge were moved to the Batman Museum.
Batman Provincial Culture and Tourism Director İhsan Aslanlı said the figures were on display in the garden of the museum.
“The figures are among the symbols of the historic Hasankeyf stone bridge. The bridge was constructed with 10 vaults. But because the bridge was partially damaged, only three of its vaults are seen on the Tigris River. The bridge was constructed between A.D. 1116 and 1126 during the reign of Fahrettin Karaaslan in Hasankeyf,” he said.
It has been reputed as one of the most magnificent bridges constructed in the Middle Age. Cut stones were used in the construction and the bridge was later filled with rubble stones. It has been reported that the bridge was constructed on the ruins of an ancient bridge. The bridge has a belt in the middle of it which serves as a door that opens and closes, symbolizing the security of the settlement.
But Hasankeyf and the stone bridge will soon be consumed by the waters of the Ilısu Dam.